In what has been described as a reminiscence of 1966 political experience, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has strongly advised northerners, against travelling to the South-Eastern part of Nigeria, unless it is extremely necessary for them to undertake the journey.
ACF Chairman, Chief Audu Ogbeh who frowned at the recent killings of innocent Nigerians, including Northerners with condemnation in South-East, said the ongoing crisis is akin to the killings of northern leaders in 1966, which triggered the events that led to a civil war.
Ogbe, the immediate past Minister of Agriculture, said, “it was so bad at a point in February this year that the northern traders who normally supply the food needs of the south, the Amalgamated Union Food and Cattle Distributors of Nigeria (AUFCDN), embarked on strike action to make the point that their lives also mattered.
He reminded that “ACF was among those who put pressure, on, and ultimately convinced, the AUFCDN to call off the strke. The ACF did that in the spirit of ONE NIGERIA.
“Yesterday, Sunday 30th May, 2021, one of leaders in the north was brutally murdered on the streets of Owerri Imo state by gunmen, most likely of IPOD and Eastern Security Network (ESN), who have been waging a public campaign of killings and other forms of brutalities, to realise their dream country of Biafra.
“The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) hereby issues a very strong advisory to all northerners who may wish to travel to the South East. Northerners to weigh the importance and necessity of such travels. Unless such trips are absolutely necessary and of compelling nature, like matters of life & death, they should NOT be made.
“And where the trip must be undertaken, the traveler should take every security precaution in his or her movements while there, including linking with the security agencies at the place/places to be visited”, he advised.
Thus therefore, Ogbeh said “The need to issue this travel advisory has become necessary against the backdrop of history, wherein events such the killings of northern leaders in 1966 triggered the events that led to a civil war that cost the country thousands of lives, and an untold sufferings to millions of innocent people. To be forewarned is to be forearmed, and a stich in time saves nine!
“The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) also wishes to call, with the strongest voice, on the Security Agencies to do everthing possible to apprehend those who assassinated Alh. (Barr) Ahmed Gulak in cold blood and bring them to justice.
“The lives of northerners, and indeed of ALL Nigerians matter, and the ACF cannot keep mute when our people, and indeed all Nigerians, are murdered in cold blood by misguided and atrocious people.
“Unfortunately in the midst of all this serious national crisis it would appear that the entire narrative from the South East has been taken over by IPOB and so-called unknown gunmen to the exclusion of established leaders. This is worrisome,” the ACF Chairman decried.